July 25

Today’s Reading: Psalms 37Acts 26

Today’s Thoughts: A Weapon and a Tool

And it happened, when our enemies heard that it was known to us, and that God had brought their plot to nothing, that all of us returned to the wall, everyone to his work. So it was, from that time on, that half of my servants worked at construction, while the other half held the spears, the shields, the bows, and wore armor; and the leaders were behind all the house of Judah.Those who built on the wall, and those who carried burdens, loaded themselves so that with one hand they worked at construction, and with the other held a weapon. Nehemiah 4:15-17

Nehemiah left Babylon to return to Jerusalem because he had heard that the walls around the city were still in rubble. Though others had already returned to rebuild the temple, no one had determined to repair the walls and gates. This news brought Nehemiah to tears, as he fasted and prayed fervent prayers to God. He returned to Jerusalem determined to fix the broken walls, but he needed help and support from those around him. Nehemiah’s story is truly amazing in its purpose, preparedness, and planning. But even the best laid plans can come under threatening attacks—and his certainly did. Though they tried, those who were against the restoration of the walls and gates could not thwart Nehemiah’s plans. His men kept working, even as they had to strap a sword to their side for protection.

Our enemy is always lurking about us, roaming and seeking whom he may devour. But remember this: he cannot thwart God’s plans, even if he frightens us along the way. Nehemiah was aware of his enemy’s schemes and he did not allow those tactics to intimidate him or his workers. They kept a hammer in one hand and weapon in the other. Despite obstacles, persecutions and negative influences, we need to keep pursuing the things of God. Our enemy will use every trick in the book to keep us from being effective, productive and fruitful; but once we are aware of his schemes, we can fight back. Do not let fear, intimidation, insecurity or guilt keep you from being successful. Pray, plan and purpose in your heart to get going and do not stop. Be strong and courageous, and ask the Lord to guide your every step. 

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